Category Archives: Art

Naana B. Dares to Take You There

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What’s a plush fall coat without a coordinating handbag? That’s right nothing. So if you haven’t heard Naana B. has launched their collection’s line of handbags, evening wear and day wear for Fall 2009! The Naana B Collection is available for viewings/inquiries at the blink PR Showroom in Soho New York.

“A woman designing for women, Naana B. takes the uniqueness and artistry of handbags and clothing to a new level. The line reflects the free nature of the designer’s life and adventures. A self-confessed dream chaser and globetrotter, the designer Naana B. began her artistic journey creating steel sculpture and paintings at Columbia University, later inspiring a long lasting love affair with clothing and accessories. After crafting and learning the elements of design, the line Naana B. was conceived! Handmade and produced by women artisans in Ghana (www.rcempowerment.org) proceeds from all sales go to the Rural Communities Empowerment Centre in Ghana”  (Courtesy of blinkpr).

And please visit www.naanab.com

August-Black with Taylor Spellman

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Thanks to the determination and artistic eye of one young and chic interior designer, what we think of as the typical “Bachelor Pad” will soon become obsolete (well, in New York City it will be). FBE got the opportunity to talk to Founder and CEO of August Black, Taylor Spellman. She’s putting an inventive and affordable spin on making any ole’ pad into a home. P.S. She’s only 25!

FBE: Tell the FBE world who you are?
TL: Taylor Spellman

FBE: And where are you from exactly?
TL: I am from Wethersfield, Connecticut and my company August Black, is based in New York City.

FBE: Tell me a little bit about your company and how you derived at the name (very unique)?
TL: The concept behind August Black is that in New York City men don’t get married until later in life so for years, they’re left on their own to decorate. These guys went to great schools, hold high-powered jobs and make a lot of money…yet their apartment is never at the level it could be. These men are not going to hire a full interior design service as its much more than the guy actually needs or wants. However, they will come to August Black, the male friendly solution to an apartment in need of a discerning eye.

To come up with the name I worked with a branding firm called Great-Monday. ‘August’ actually means “inspiring awe or admiration” and “occupying a high position or rank”. A lot of my clients currently hold a high position and rank and if not yet, they’re certainly on their way.

FBE: What’s your background in interior design?
TL: I actually do not have any formal training in interior design. I came to New York as a dancer to attend The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and later graduated from Fordham University at Lincoln Center with a Degree in Business.

FBE: What drove you to launch “August Black“? and What were you doing before that?
TL: Prior to launching August Black I had helped countless friends spruce up their places. I was designing so many homes for free that I finally had that light-bulb moment of wait…I could be making money doing this. It was then that I launched “August Black“.

FBE: Do you have a team or are you working independently?
TL: I have a team of over 20 people that work for me as independent contractors. Painters, builders, electricians etc. Outside of that, I have two interns and I recently signed on a full time partner.
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SCOTT CREATIVE

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Meet William Scott. He’s the 25 year old owner and CEO of Scott Creative,a creative services/design studio. William spoke with me about his life as an entrepreneur, his company and why “Print is not dead!”

FBE: And where are you from?
WS: I’m currently living and working in Omaha, Nebraska. It’s a wonderful city to live in with a booming art and music scene, great food and a Midwestern outlook on life that anyone can appreciate. It would be nearly perfect if we could just skip over those winter months.

FBE: What’s the concept behind your company?
WS: I founded it with the belief that all businesses, regardless of size, can benefit from the power and influence that visual communications bring to the table. While you can see firsthand the effect good design and branding plays in larger businesses and organizations, using effective visual communications isn’t always a priority for the small business owner.
This happens for a lot of reasons, but I believe that the two main factors for this are ignorance on the business owner’s behalf, as well as the assumed cost for these services. Scott Creative aims to educate small business owners about the influence effective design plays in their marketing and branding strategies as well as offer a cost-effective alternative to larger advertising agencies and firms.

FBE: When was Scott Creative launched?
WS: I started thinking about trying my hand at freelancing a little over a year ago, but at that point was afraid to take the necessary steps. I don’t think freelancing is something you can just ‘dabble’ in: it has to be all or nothing – it’s the only way to gauge your success. I had a comfortable nine to fiver and things were going well. Then, last September, the small publishing company I was working for had to make cutbacks, and there went my job. About two weeks after, I started my own business and I haven’t looked back since.

FBE: Like many creative people, inspiration can be pulled from anywhere, where do you pull your inspiration from?
WS:I found inspiration in a lot of areas. There are a wealth of incredibly successful designers and artists worldwide who had the courage to work for themselves, set their own rules and see how things work out. Look at Shepard Fairey, for example; the success and attention he’s received in the past few months. He started from close to nothing and today he’s one of the most influential, successful designers of our time. There’s also Modern Dog Design Co., with similar beginnings and dozens more worth mentioning. It’s success stories like these that inspired to take what’s essentially a leap of faith. Either you have the right attitude and skills to run a creative business, or you don’t, but there’s really only one way to find out.

FBE: Why the name Scott Creative?
WS: I realize it’s not the most intriguing name, but I wanted something simple, something with a ‘less is more’ attitude, something that would draw attention to who I was and what I do. ‘Design’ can be many things, but ‘Creative’ says something a little different. I think it defines me as a person as well as the services my business provides.

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FASHION AT ITS MAXX!

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At 27, Dana-Maxx Pomerantz is quickly building herself into a fashion icon. From the heart of NYC, her line “maxximizes” the bold and the edgy consumer ready to take on any forum . Here is the evolving story of Dana- Maxx:

FBE: What influenced the launch of Dana-Maxx?
DM: Ever since I was a little girl I always wanted to be a fashion designer. I use to have a pretend store setup in my bedroom. My customers were my stuffed animals and I would sit and sketch clothing for them and take orders. Who knew that is exactly what I would be doing 20 years later! Fashion was always in my blood- I would sleep it, eat it, and dream it. I could not wait to make that dream a reality one day.

FBE: Are you an independent designer?
DM: Yes, I am an independent designer. Although I could not make everything happen without a huge team of people- individuals such as family, manufacturers, fabric vendors, publicist, technical designers, sales reps, and interns!

FBE : What’s your background in fashion and design? What formal schooling and/or jobs have helped your career?
DM: I took fashion design classes in high school and took Saturday Live classes during high school at the Fashion Institute of Technology. I graduated from FIT with a Bachelor degree of Fine Arts. While I was in college, I interned at the ever impressive Betsey Johnson and was hired soon thereafter in design. As I prepared to launch my line, Dana-Maxx, I worked in design at Marc Jacobs. Every experience from my classes in high school to working in design at Marc, really helped me to hone the necessary skills to launch my own line.

FBE: What would you say makes your fashions unique when compared to other lines in the fashion industry?
DM: When I am designing, I always keep a particular woman in mind; she is fearless, fun, flirty, a bit edgy, and chic. She pays very close attention to detail and loves feeling special in whatever she wears. She wants the best quality and styling, but does not have the means to afford a $1,000 dress. The line is made in the USA at a reasonable price point!

FBE: Who is Dana- Maxx designed for?
DM: The Dana-Maxx consumer is fun, flirty, and chic! She ranges in age from 20-45 and wants to feel amazing no matter what her age. She shops for her age, but dresses according to her mood.

FBE: Who/ what personally inspires your designs?
DM: Anything and everything inspires me! Each season prior to starting a collection I come up with a theme. I never know what the theme will be, and then suddenly I have a creative epiphany, and it just comes to me. I then create a mood board which helps me to stay focused on the styling, details, and silhouettes per collection. Then I begin to sketch until I am confident that I want my label on that particular design.

-More Dana-Maxx fashions when you read more…

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Catchin’ Up With Brooke on the 1’s and 2’s

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Check in with Brooke at Plush Lounge in downtown Brooklyn, next Thursday after a long day! And if you haven’t seen it already read more about her in the entry, titled “For the Love of Music!” Enjoy!

Young, Fly and Eco-Fashionable: CMARCHUSKA

This 29 year old hasn’t let a lay off from her Wall Street job stand in the way of her dreams. Instead, she took matters into her own hands and in November 08′ created the chic and sustainably Eco-friendly clothing line, Cmarchuska. FBENOW hit up her at her first ever Eco-fashion show at Ultra in NYC. Check out the footage brought to you by AM2PM Productions and see our fashionably inspired conversation below.

FBE: Tell the viewers who you are!
CM:Christine Marchuska

FBE: Your Age?
CM: 29

FBE:Tell us where you’re from and where is Cmarchuska based?
CM: I am from upstate NY, Vestal to be exact, but my grandparents came over from Eastern Europe – hence my Lithuanian last name. The company is based in New York City.

FBE:How did you decide on the name Cmarchuska and when was it launched?
CM: The name of the company is my first initial and last name. The company launched in November ’08. There was no science behind choosing this name – it just seemed like a good fit since my line is really about my style.

FBE: Have you had any schooling that has assisted in starting your business?
CM: I attended Cornell University’s School of Human Ecology for my undergrad degree. Then last summer I took several sewing courses in the garment district here in NYC. Cornell taught me numerous skills from psychology to entrepreneurship. They over a vast array of classes and areas of study so you have the opportunity to become more well-rounded as an academic as well as a person. The sewing classes were instrumental for knowledge and networking in the garment industry. I met industry veterans who pointed me in the right direction in terms of garment production.

FBE: What motivated you to launch a clothing line?
CM:I have always been very interested in fashion along with my concern for the environment. So I thought a natural fit would be for me to launch an Eco-friendly clothing line.

FBE: How has the transition from Wall Street to the fashion industry assisted in molding you as an individual and as a business person?
CM: Wall Street gave me an incredible skill set, especially with respect to sales. It made me into a real people person with amazing networking capabilities and a non-stop work ethic which you definitely need if you are going to launch a new business during the worst economic crisis.

FBE:Did you design clothing prior to the launch of Cmarchuska?
CM: I designed a few different fun going out pieces mainly through modifying current items in my closet, but I had not designed anything from scratch before launching the line.

FBE: What makes your fashions unique when compared to other lines in the fashion industry?
CM:When you look at the Eco-fashion industry you really only find casual wear or super high-end couture. No one is catering to the young professional woman who wants classic versatile pieces that you can wear to the office and then with a simple shoe change – can dress up for a night out on the town. These women also want comfort and affordability. So my line is all about classic dresses and pieces that can be worn to pretty much any event, meeting, etc and will last for years in terms of style and durability. Not to mention the pieces are affordable and made out of the highest quality sustainable fabrics. At the end of the day, sustainability is about reducing wasteful processes and practices. So with sustainable fashion – you want clothing that is classic and perfect for every occasion not a trendy piece that you will toss after one season.

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The Intuitive Design and Style of Earl Lucas

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If you’re an owner of the new redefined and sleek 2010 Ford Taurus, you have a closer linkage to Mr. Earl Lucas than you know. Named one of Automotive Design and Production’s ten hottest designers, Design Manager for Ford Motor Company, 38 year old Lucas has made his mark in the automotive industry for 10 solid years. Hailing from Southfield, Michigan (originally from Dallas, TX), Lucas ingeniously and firmly planted his feet on success lane early in the game. “I attended high school at the very famous Arts Magnet High School in Dallas, Texas. This is the same school that Erykah Badu and Norah Jones attended, but I concentrated on visual arts. After high school, I went to College for Creative Studies in Detroit where I focused on transportation design. The experience was valuable because it allowed me to learn the craft of design by paying dues and honing my drawing skills,” says Earl. His resume includes  playing a key role as the interior design manager on the award-winning 2009 Ford Flex, senior designer on the 2000 Lincoln Navigator and Ford Expedition interior design team, and he has also worked on a number of programs ranging from 2003 Ford F-150, 2007 Ford Edge and the Lincoln MKX.

As a design manager, he credits “good music” to inspiring his work. “I have a ton of shapes and ideas in my head but music can assist in just letting these ideas flow. The better the music the more inspired I become and the better the shapes that I create.” He also attests that anything from everyday objects, fashion design, nature or anything he encounters throughout life stimulate his creative senses.

Although, Ford Motor Company as well as many other automotive corporations are highly affected by the current economic status of the country it hasn’t impinged Earl’s optimism and determination to be the best at what he does. “My faith in God is what I credit for being a motivational force in life for me. Understanding that there is something bigger then us keeps me in the proper mindset and keeps me humble,” says Earl. He assured me that he has many big and exciting projects underway and in the next five years sees himself as Chief Designer on a major program within Ford. On a closing note as always I asked Lucas what advice he has for you blossoming entrepreneurs and he left me with this “The best advice I can give to any young entrepreneurs is to never let anyone stand in your way of doing what you love. I would also advise that you to find something you love to do and don’t get so caught up in chasing money.”